Deputy Inspector Richard Capolongo, 42, fatally shot himself inside the 107th Precinct on Dec. 29, police said. He used his service handgun to shoot himself in the head around 6:30 a.m. in the station's locker room, and left no suicide note, according to published reports.Reached at his Staten Island home, Capolongo's mother, Joanne Capolongo, told the TimesLedger "we are in a state of confusion. We are trying to piece things together."Officers at the 107th Precinct, located at 71-01 Parsons Blvd. in Fresh Meadows, declined to comment.Capolongo, a 19-year veteran of the force, had recently been the target of an Internal Affairs investigation for allegedly using working hours to moonlight as a security guard at a Staten Island strip mall, according to The New York Times.Since 2003 he had been a high-ranking officer with the Manhattan North narcotics unit, but was reassigned to the Queens South Borough Command headquarters in the same building as the 107th Precinct, while the investigation continued, published reports said.Police said the internal investigation was not a serious threat to his career, however, and questioned why Capolongo would shoot himself inside the precinct's locker room on what was his wedding anniversary, the New York Post reported.After graduating from the University of Rhode Island in 1985, Capolongo was approached by the Detroit Lions to play professional football but opted for a career with the police, according to the Staten Island Advance. Hundreds of mourners, including Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, attended Capolongo's funeral Monday in Staten Island, where he had grown up and lived with his family. He is survived by his wife, identified as Elsi Capolongo, a Brooklyn elementary school principal, and 11-year-old son Richard John Capolongo.Calls made to the lawyer handling Capolongo's police case, Philip Karasyk, were not returned. Reach reporter Sophia Chang by e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2005 Community News Group
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